poem index

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Browse thousands of biographies of poets and poems, essays about poetry, and some of the most important books, anthologies, and textbooks about the art form ever written. Looking for something specific? Use the search bar above.

poems

poem

I

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil
poem

I’ve wanted to visit the genetically modified goat
spliced with silkworm DNA
spinning white threads from its pink udders
like a piebald spider. I’ve wondered how much
for a whole goat silk dress? Always I save
the spiders that shimmy near my eyes
but never the

poem

The sun isn’t even a pearl today—
its light diffused, strained gray
by winter haze—this the grayest
day so far, so when I enter the Wells
Fargo parking lot the last thing I expect
is to see the sun in the car next to mine.
I watch a woman make out with the sun,

texts

text
Essays
2015

     At closing time
     standing outside the public library
     with ID card expired,
     the books remain on shelves—
     Lev Vygotsky, Toni Morrison, Levertov, Cassirer,
     and the Zora Neale Hurston (which probably isn’t there) . . .

“Who is this Christopher Gilbert and why am I only just hearing about him?” That’s what I continue to ask myself at almost every encounter with this poet. Typing the opening stanza of “The ‘The,’” for example, I lingered again on the authors named in the poem. I had to research Lev Vygotsky and Ernst Cassirer. Part of the wink in those opening lines is that the speaker (someone so like Christopher Gilbert we could call him Christopher Gilbert) is also planning to research the authors. In seeing what the seeker seeks we see something of the seeker. The poem tells us something about his eclectic intelligence as well as his eclectic curiosity. He’s after Lev Vygotsky, the Russian development

text
Poetic Terms/Forms
2014

In April 2014 A Poet’s Glossary by Academy Chancellor Edward Hirsch was published. As Hirsch writes in the preface, “This book—one person’s work, a poet’s glossary—has grown, as if naturally, out of my lifelong interest in poetry, my curiosity about its vocabulary, its forms and genres, its histories and traditions, its classical, romantic, and modern movements, its various outlying groups, its small devices and large mysteries—how it works.” Each week we will feature a term and its definition from Hirsch’s new book. 

proverb: A terse didactic statement that embodies a general truth, the proverb is short and pithy, akin to the aphorism and the maxim, and draws attention to itself as a formal artistic entity. Folk and traditional proverbs are well-known expressions, usually the length of a simple sentence, that function in conversation. They are part of daily discourse. They also operate in educational situations and judicial proceedings. Proverbs take personal circumstances

text
from American Poets Magazine
2015

Irony certainly isn’t the first word that comes to mind when we think of the poems of Walt Whitman, whose vast, brilliant, and uneven body of work is more often characterized by terms like earnestness and sincerity, directness and plain speech. This most American of American poets invented, after all, free verse as we know it, and not just in terms of an open, conversational voice, presented in an arrangement on the page often determined by content rather than by strict measures.  His form mimics the process of thinking itself, and he allows the poem, in a markedly modern way, to grope toward meaning, using metaphor, image, analogy, and argument in ways quite unlike the dominant verse of his time. He gives a kind of breathing, seemingly spontaneous form to his questions, and thus his readers feel involved in a process of coming to knowledge, brought into an intimate relationship with at least a version of the speaker’s subjectivity. In this way he seems, along with his fellow

books

book
Poetry Book
2013
book
Anthology
2014
Singing School:  Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters by Robert Pinksy
book
Poetry Book
2012
Nervous Device by Catherine Wagner